Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rotisserie Chicken Crabby-Style; Hurray, Football's Here, Football's Here

As a kid I hated the start of the US Tennis Open, it meant school was about to begin. As I got older I loved seeing the US Tennis Open because it meant I was back at college. It also meant that football's here.

As many of you know, the Crabbys live in the Ann Arbor Michigan area. Ann Arbor is also home to the University of Michigan. The University is world renowned for its academics and research in the sciences, arts and medicine; but the truth is, if you travel around the U.S. and say "University of Michigan", the vast majority of people will respond with one word: "football".

Six times a year, the stadium becomes the third most populous city in the state of Michigan. Everything is painted maize and blue, and woe unto ye should you wear Buckeye (Ohio State) colors, (N.B., around here, Buckeye has an unusually pronunciation, the "B" takes on a definite "F" sound).

I did not attend UofM, but I enjoy watching football. Of course for me it's not just the game, but the food too. So while the faithful bemoan what appears to be a difficult "transitional" season, Crabby worries about what to eat before, during and after the game.

Well today's recipe is perfect for your typical football game. The major work is done the night before and the cooking can be started at half-time, checking on progress done during TV commercials and eating starts right after the game ends. Perfection.

This meal works best with a rotisserie attachment to your grill, though it could be prepared in your oven at 350 degrees with similar timing. It won't look as spectacular, but it will still taste great.

Crabby's Rotisserie Chicken
by Crabby

1 Roasting Chicken (approx. 4 lbs.)


1 orange, halved
1 lemon, halved
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup Crabby Rub, divided (see below)

Squeeze the juice of the orange and lemon halves into a large bowl. Save the rinds and flesh.

Add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil and mix well to combine.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Place the roaster in a large resealable bag (gallon size should work just fine). Place the orange and lemon halves inside the chicken cavity. Pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and massage the bag to distribute the marinade.

Carefully reopen the bag and sprinkle half (1/4 cup) of the Crabby rub onto the chicken. Reseal the bag and refrigerate at least 8 hours, and preferably overnight.

One hour before cooking, remove the chicken from the marinade and lightly pat dry. Discard the marinade as well as the fruit halves from inside the cavity. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Crabby rub over the chicken and allow it to come to room temperature.

Set up your rotisserie grill attachment. Preheat the rotisserie burner. Mount the chicken onto the grill spit, tying the legs to insure a stable bird.

Rotisserie grill at medium-high heat. Grill temperatures vary widely and are especially sensitive to the outside temperature. Check the bird after 15 minutes to see if it is crisping too quickly. If it appears too browned, reduce the temperature. Otherwise check the chicken again after an hour or so. An instant read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the thigh needs to read 180 degrees. Start testing the doneness after 45 minutes.

When done, remove the chicken from the spit and allow to rest, covered, for 15 minutes.

Carve, serve, eat.

Now if everything has worked out right, the chicken will be ready just as the game ends, (or you could start the bird at the beginning of the game and it should be ready right around halftime). I'll let WWBob chime in with some wine ideas. Until next time, remember you can do it, you can cook. And, oh yeah, Go Blue!!!

Crabby Rub
by Crabby

I normally make a large batch so as to have it sitting around for last minute seasoning.

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup paprika
1/4 onion powder
1/4 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup dried thyme
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely ground coffee
(yes, that's right, coffee)
1 TBSP cumin

Combine all ingredients in a large jar. Shake vigorously while your children are watching. Try not to yell at them as they laugh at you. Store in a cool dark place. Use liberally.

1 comment:

WineWizardBob said...

Chicken, citrus, smoke, spice, what's not to love. Early football season with still some summer in the air makes a white wine a better choice with this dish. I love a German Riesling of Spatlese quality smokey chicken.
When the weather gets cooler, I move to American Pinot Noir, California if you like it fruitier, Oregon if less fruity.
And when the snowflakes are flying, a bigger red with warmer flavors like an Italian Negroamaro from the heel of the boot.